“If, in some cataclysm, all of knowledge was to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”
I was asked this question as part of a validation in year 11 Chemistry, it was originally relating to ‘all of scientific knowledge’ and I completed the assignment and thought nothing of it.
But recently I noticed that I wrote it in the notes section of my phone and it has been bugging me for weeks now.
It was a simple enough question to answer for a school project, we know what the teacher wants so that is what we give them, but when I relate it to real living I find it much more difficult to answer.
If we, as humanity, had to decide on an answer for this question, what would it be?
Many would suggest to answer it with science, we should get the next generation started on how the world works, shouldn’t we? But then what kind of science? Should we have this mere sentence be used on atoms? Sound waves? Will these things even be helpful to the new generation? Surely we should inform them about how the human body works, but what if the next generation is different to us in ways that we cant predict? Science doesn’t seem to be the best answer in this case.
Of course there is literature, but how are we to contain so many of the classics into one simple sentence?
Religion is always a good bet, we need to save as many people as possible but where do we even begin? There are so many religions and so many aspects to all of them.
As we can tell by this point the question has caused me a lot of grief and contemplation.
I have come to the conclusion that this sentence must not be about science, the classics, art, religion, or even mathematics, as all these things we can figure out on our own, we have made it this far and in all these aspects we seem to be doing fairly well.
I believe our precious, short sentence can not be wasted on things we learn for ourselves but rather the lesson that our world has been trying to teach us for centuries, the one we don’t seem to be listening to.
If we were to be the next generation of creatures, with all knowledge of everything destroyed, that one sentence would become our life source. It would become religion, it would encourage us to seek science, inspire us to write new classics, create new art. It would be the only known reason for our existence and the world would have the opportunity to become a better place.
Believing all this, the sentence still has not come to me, I can not fathom the best way to word it. All I am sure of is that it’s underlying message is simple, merely one word.
Is that not all we need to succeed in life? From love blooms happiness, encouragement, unity. We can achieve anything through love, as long as we love completely. Love, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, size, or shape.
Love all things and all people, no exceptions
– Zee xx